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The Leangains Method: The Art of Getting Ripped. Researched, Practiced, Perfected.

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Never do cardio. Forget sit-ups. Eat when you want but don’t snack. Breakfast? Who needs it. Spend less than two hours a week in the gym to double your results in half the time, because less is more.

Sound like a reasonable diet and exercise advice? To most people, it doesn’t. But as crazy as it sounds, these statements are part of the winning formula behind Martin Berkhan’s controversial Leangains method—as evidenced by hundreds of clients and thousands of success stories from Leangains devotees all over the world.

The Leangains Method: The Art of Getting Ripped. Researched, Practiced, Perfected is the definitive fat loss manual and body transformation plan for people who are tired of gimmicks, BS, and the same old spiels they’ve heard countless times before. Tired tropes like “Eat Breakfast Like a King, Lunch Like a Prince, and Dinner Like a Pauper,” conventional “wisdom” about our eating habits and other nonsensical beliefs has no place in this book - but they are dealt with accordingly, which is to say that The Leangains Method is the perfect gift for the dabbler who can’t tell right from wrong and is highly educational for beginners or scholars alike.

Conceived and outlined on www.leangains.com over a decade ago, the Leangains diet is commonly known as the “16:8" diet in mainstream media. The popular diet that shook the foundation of the fitness industry, kickstarted the intermittent fasting craze and caused a nutritional paradigm shift has been plagiarized more than any other diet in recent history. But its secrets have eluded everyone, and its efficiency has never been reproduced. Until now. And when its elusive creator pulls the curtain apart and reveals the treasured terroir of the Method, you will bask at its flavors and laugh at its imitators. Rest assured.

People are often told that there are no secrets left. That statement was wrong a decade ago when Martin Berkhan introduced intermittent fasting and made breakfast skipping a thing. And in The Leangains Method: The Art of Getting Ripped. Researched, Practiced, Perfected he does it again. But he doesn’t make these outlandish claims casually, and skeptics will be delighted to know that the book and its methods are fully referenced, evidence-based, and peer-reviewed by fitness industry watchdog Alan Aragon.

The Leangains Method: The Art of Getting Ripped. Researched, Practiced, Perfected is chock-full of insider secrets and cutting-edge science revealed for the very first time. You’ll learn why a calorie isn’t a calorie, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage. You’ll be taught the ingredients of the most efficient legal fat-burning stack in existence—and, should you decide to use it, be able to accelerate fat loss by up to half a pound per week. After that and much more, you’ll witness the unveiling of the greatest diet secret of them all. The magic bullet, the one thing that makes all the difference. Don’t listen to what they say. It exists.

The Leangains Method: The Art of Getting Ripped. Researched, Practiced, Perfected is the alpha and omega of fat loss, conceived at the crossroads of lived experience and brutal honesty, the everyday practicalities of dieting, and the bleeding edge of science. It’s a body transformation plan that reaches beyond bodies and into minds, perceptions, and priorities.

Its author makes a single promise. You’ve never read a book like this before, and you’ll never read its like again.

Author’s note: The Leangains Method extols the benefits of a high-protein diet, and the nutritional recommendations in the book reflect this. It’s therefore unsuitable for vegans and—to a lesser extent—vegetarians.

323 pages, Kindle Edition

Published August 16, 2018

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About the author

Martin Berkhan

1 book62 followers
I'm a veteran in the fitness industry and have been around since the mid-2000s. I'm 36, Swedish, and known in the industry as the godfather of intermittent fasting. Let me tell you how I earned that title.

When everyone else was doing what everyone around them told them to do -- breakfast first thing in the morning followed by tiny meals throughout the day -- I did the opposite I fasted 16 hours every day, skipped breakfast and ate 2-3 meals a day. This was in 2006 and everyone thought I was crazy.

But guess what? For the first time in my life, this former fat boy got ripped. Not only that, but the diet turned out to work great for other people as well. On my website Leangains, I laid out the blueprint for the diet, amassed a large following and created a wave that can be felt to this day. Now everyone's doing intermittent fasting.
If you want to read more about my diet, intermittent fasting and everything else that has helped me and countless clients and people around the world get lean, read my book "The Leangains Method: The Art of Getting Ripped. Researched, Practiced, Perfected."

If my book doesn't change your life, it will change your body, and it'll be the best ten bucks you'll ever spend in the fitness game. I stake my career on that claim.

When I'm not coaching clients or writing books and articles, I like to read, and some of my favorite non-fiction books include "The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield and "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers" by Robert Sapolsky. Fiction-wise, I like anything by Thomas Ligotti and the short stories of Brian Evenson.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 135 reviews
4 reviews
August 17, 2018
This book has been hyped up for a long time and doesn’t live up to it IMO. While I did learn some things from reading the book, particularly more specific details about the thermogenic effects of food, overall there’s nothing in this book that will change anything that I’m not doing already. This is a diet book and revolves around tracking calories. I’ve never tracked calories and probably never will as I see it as a huge hassle and I have no desire to lose fat as I’m already very lean. Martin made it seem like writing this book was the hardest thing ever and I’m disappointed in the lack of new content. A big portion of this book features articles he’s already written, and the first part of the book is just a (well-written and enjoyable) background of how he got to where he is. I’m giving this book 4 stars because it is well written and provides loads of useful information, especially for someone who hasn’t read much into nutrition. For me however, while I did enjoy reading it, I learned hardly anything new and feel that Martin boasts too highly about his own work. He thinks fuckarounditis is one of the best fitness articles of all time. I knew back in 2009, when I was 17, most of what he talks about in that article just from intuition. It’s not rocket science and he’s not a genius for writing it or anything else he’s written. With all that said, I like Martin and have learned a lot from him over the years. He’s no doubt very knowledgeable on exercise and nutrition and this book may be very helpful for some people.
Profile Image for Matheus Resende.
10 reviews4 followers
June 26, 2020
Yet another book that claims to be against the fitness industry but just reinforces it lmao
Good takes on IF, not very sure about the author's ideas on lifting.
Skipping curls, triceps extension...? Come on
Profile Image for Jan Zavrel.
Author 7 books
July 23, 2020
Unfortunately for me, I have expected more, way more. Based on the testimonials from names like Mike Mathews I thought that I would learn something really groundbreaking. This feeling was hyped even more by the author himself during the introduction where he claimed repeatedly that this book will literally blow my mind. After a long, maybe too long personal history (I wasn't really interested in, to put it bluntly), he finally revealed what's in general just another high-protein diet with sort-of Starting Strength training regime.

Half of the book is made of recipes and FAQ with copies of articles from his website.

The training part has some funny lines about clueless people in the gym. Good laugh, but nothing to improve your knowledge.

Maybe I'm just the wrong audience after reading Mark Rippetoe's books, doing StrongLifts 5x5 and ingesting nutritional audiobooks with the high frequency of 1 per week on average.

Can I recommend this book? If you're a total novice or a victim of the fitness business, go ahead, you get some value. If you're already eating clean and training instead of just exercising, I'm afraid you'll be probably quite disappointed especially after the expectations pumped to the roof.
1 review
August 19, 2018
If you're only going to read one book about diet and exercise...

But seriously. Martin has taken all of the complexity out of strength training and nutrition and presented it in a way that is easily digested. As he points out, we're inundated with information these days, and so it's good to have a lot of the noise filtered out. It's also refreshing to see someone be honest about what is research based vs what is personal observation and preference, and not just try to sell snake oil. After many years of of messing about, making mistakes and getting lost in the noise and the next "secret training routine", getting back to the simplicity of what works, as outlined here,, hast me progressing again. Whenever anyone has any questions about diet or training I'll be pointing them to this book.
10 reviews1 follower
August 28, 2018

I’ve known and read of Martin’s works for at least four years and only one other person has been as influential in my training then him and that’s Michael Matthews. So when I heard that he finally (finally!) was publishing a book after about ten years of prodding from his readers to do so I was excited to see what the man could produce when given a chance for the mainstream to hear his voice. So what’s the verdict? Excellent just as I hoped.

What I love about Martin is that you’ll get his honest opinion on anything even if it makes him look bad or kind of takes you off guard. An example of this is that he fully realizes that hacks like Kinobody who have straight up plagiarized him for years exist because he didn’t put out a product to the mainstream sooner. What’s also amazing is that even though he’s the high priest of Intermittent Fasting he will repeatedly state throughout the book that’s its not necessary to do to get results but he’ll also convince you that neither is eating six meals a day or consuming no more than 30 grams of protein per meal. This man effectively destroyed all those sacred cows so I’m happy that he’s not creating more myths after getting rid of so many.

I personally don’t do Intermittent Fasting but Martin has changed my life for the better. I used to be one of those guys that “had” to eat every three hours. I’ll never forget how annoyed my wife was with me on our honeymoon in Maui when I was trying to pack protein shakes and bars everywhere we went because I didn’t want to go “catabolic.”
Fitness was taking more from my life than it was giving. Now because of the man I have 30g protein shake before I workout in the morning and I eat three square high protein meals throughout the day and my results are better without all the bodybuilding fanaticism. I’ve been more slow to trust him on the minimalist training style but in all honesty it seems my training philosophy grows more simple and minimal with each passing year so who knows my routine might look just like his pretty soon. I truly appreciate what the man has given to the fitness community.

My only complaint with the book is that I wish it would have been better organized and laid out to flow better. For example I felt the large amount of supplemental material should have been disbursed throughout the Leangains Method in the chapters that were of similar topic. For example Fuckarounditis could have easily been in the chapter on getting stronger as that chapter felt a little light. The ten myths of Intermittent Fasting could have been included in any number of chapters on nutrition. A single point of utmost importance would have also been a fine ending to the entire text as it is incredibly well written, important and sadly the least applied practice in fitness and would have been a nice send off to the reader. These are relatively minor annoyances and for all I know it’s just me that they annoy.

Other than that I would advice people to read and re-read this book. Martin deserves to be up there with the most popular of any fitness authors out there. He’s one of the few in this industry who I trust completely with their advice as he always holds himself to the highest of standards which I greatly appreciate in this day and age. Lastly I would tell potential readers that while Martin created IF, The Leangains Method is not about it. It’s about getting results in the fastest most simple way possible while not following prey to broscience and myths that will only deter you from getting to your goals.
Profile Image for Polo.
27 reviews1 follower
September 26, 2019
Good summary, but if you've read his greatest hits on blog nothing new, just a little more polish, new photos, and less depth (quick hits summaries). Has more details/anecdotes on how to adapt program to women, which is nice. A lot of Berkhan's personal story for first chapter or two he doesn't share as much on his blog, as well as interesting bits about his depression/disillusionment pursuing fitness for awhile (hence why this book took so long to come out and the industry capitalized on Intermittent Fasting majorly to fill that gap - he could have been The Icon of IF rather than just the popularizer/progenitor to the savvy marketers who followed!)

Key ideas:
- You are probably doing too much.
- Muscle gain / maintenance during weight loss phase is possible (and not too challenging).
- Avoiding the majority of fat gain during muscle gain phase is possible (though more challenging).
- Prioritizing sufficient protein is underrated from a weight loss perspective due to the DIT of protein. But don't be scared of carbs, in particular, as they will keep you energetic and compliant.
- Most people waste time for years when they could be doing much less, simpler, with more discipline! Consider your journey a 2 year minimum, and 6 months to see great changes.
- When you time your meal consumption will help many people with compliance to calorie deficits. (Intermittent Fasting - 16:8 is primary recommendation.)
- If you aren't patient or hold yourself to unrealistic expectations (especially panicking and going "Extreme" calorie deficits or tons of extra cardio to get through the dreaded "plateaus") you are systematically setting yourself up to fail and to become depressed instead of motivated/encouraged.
- Be patient. Be smart. Be playful and laugh at yourself and celebrate your progress.

Anyway, great fundamentals. If you don't read this book and read Fuckarounditis (for philosophy) and How To Look Awesome Every Day (for implementation system) blog posts deeply, then re-read monthly or quarterly until they are fully internalized, you'll only gain about 10% from reading this book. As a side note, Fuckarounditis is probably in the top .01% of writing on the web; a true masterpiece of persuasion and concision.

Fuckarounditis: https://leangains.com/fuckarounditis/
How to Look Awesome Every Day: https://leangains.com/how-to-look-awe...

FIGHT ON and may the God of Gains bless your lifts today
Profile Image for Matej.
8 reviews1 follower
March 2, 2020
The author wants you to literally throw your money down the toilet. I'm not kidding.

Blog posts written into a book by an arrogant author who has binge eating disorder. He also wants you to LITERALLY throw your money down the toilet by eating too much protein while he is talking about giving you freedom of choice while eating.

I weight around 90 kg(200lbs) and I have 3000 calories daily requirement to not lose weight. I would have to eat around 300 – 400g of protein by his logic every day which is in 3 meals quite impossible.

Let’s take a look at one of his meal plans:
500g of beef steak

I can eat that but wait, what is this?
500g of beef steak – hahaha – sure, I want to eat that again
500g of cottage cheese – yeah, after eating another steak, I want to eat another 500g of cottage cheese

Let’s quote the author: “In my experience, long-term success can only be enjoyed when you have the freedom of choice.“

Yeah mate, eating 4g protein per kg of bw isn’t giving you the freedom of choice, it’s the opposite. Then he explains why protein should be counted as only 3 calories instead of 4 (which was the only interesting part of the book) and I started thinking that’s why are always high protein diets superior in losing weight to low protein diets.

Notes and what I would read instead here.
6 reviews1 follower
September 17, 2018
What a letdown. Martin explains just aspect of a higher protein version of the work Lyle McDonald put out over a decade ago. The writing quality is about equal to a college sophomore who feels extremely empowered that they have been able to present a coherent thesis. For taking 10 years to write it is sparse on new information not found on his site and roughly 1/3 of the book is simply edits of his site posts. Another 1/4, the intro, is a boring, typical story of a nerdy kid that decided to get in shape. The fact that people find this to be a revelation puzzles me as this is what motivates many adults to get into shape.

In the end he offers an interesting theory as to why a very high protein diet might be a superior option for reducing bodyfat, but the concept of high protein and counting calories isn't anything new or revolutionary, it's just that there are so many terrible books out there that dance around this point that an author being simple and straightforward is hailed as revolutionary.
43 reviews1 follower
August 17, 2018
This is the book that I've been expecting with the most excitement ever, in my whole life. Checking periodically since 2012 if there were going to be any updates about the book, I had to convince myself that it was never going to come out. I had abandoned hope and settled for re reading the old stuff to see if my new self would get something new out of it, and I kept learning new things, but the same questions remained for a very very long time. How to structure a workout? How many calories? How to partition the macros? Why is Martin Berkhan so damn ripped and muscular?

These questions remained, and you might be asking yourself "why did this guy was so obsessed with Leangains?. The reason is simple : For a long time I wasn't happy with the way I looked, I wanted to have a muscular ripped physique, it was an important matter to me, I attached that goal into my personal identification with my intellect, my discipline and my self esteem, and the fact that it took me years of failure after failure to reach that goal, made me doubt myself and made me question how the world actually worked - I always thought hard working people get rewards, and failing in a fitness journey that I thought would just take me 2 - 3 months made me see another dimension of what life really is (as silly as it may sound to non lifters and non fitness people) and how it's not about working hard, but about being skilled enough, and the piece that I was missing was the Leangains protocol. Once I found that out, I had my first semi-successful cut, I say semi-successful because I didn't have enough plates to really pack a good deadlift or squat, but I went to 11% bodyfat nevertheless, I increased all my lifts and people started noticing my physique, asking for advice and I ended up opening a small home gym on which I train people and show them the way, something that changed my life forever, as forming strong relationships through a productive task such as working out and teaching people how to lift, is very fulfilling, as well as the mental benefits that engaging in physical activities has, just invaluable.

Disclaimed is that I just read the book, I loved the advice and I started applying these principles just today, I'm in the third week of my 2018 cut, and I was following whatever I understood as leangains before the book, now that this perfected method came to light, I'll do the remaining 9 weeks of my diet under these teachings. I'm an experienced lifter, although I'm short (170 cm , 5 feet 7 inches) and I weigh around 152 right now, I'm sitting around 13% body fat, with a deadlift of 410, 280 bench and a 280 squat (i know, my squat sucks) I have broke a couple of plateaus in these 4 weeks of training. No matter how experienced, coming back to leangains after doing some other shit is always humbling and a reminder of why this simple, yet powerful practices work.
Profile Image for Петър Стойков.
Author 3 books263 followers
August 25, 2019
Значи, младежът е фотомодел, който според собствените му снимки изглежда като фотомодел с плочки още откакто е почнал да тренира и за две години е направил страхотна физика, но чак след това му хрумнали гениалните му идеи относно орелефяването. Да бе...

В книгата, разбира се, няма абсолютно нищо новаторско или интересно. Ама абсолютно нищо. Тя се състои от личната история на автора, от която (и от приложените снимки) разбираме, че той си е релефен и мускулест още от както е почнал да тренира и си остава такъв въпреки ужасната диета и режим по време на пътуванията му като фотомодел.

Следва идиотската му "научна" обосновка на измислената от него диета, която се състои от избиране на храни, които имат по-голям коефициент на превръщане на енергията от тях в топлинна (т.е. ядеш 100 калории но 10 от тях стават на топлина значи си изял 90?!?). 20% от обема на книгата е изброяване на референциите към статии с диетологични изследвания, което е опит да се даде някаква научна правдоподобност на книгата, но тъй като всички знаем какво е качеството на "науката" в диетологията, ефектът е по-скоро обратния.

Съветите за диета в книгата могат да се поберат в следното изречение: "60% от калориите трябва да идват от протеин, яжте повече зеленчуци". Според автора 300 г. протеин на ден е нормален прием.

Разбира се, основният ефект на орелефяване идва от броя калории който човек трябва да приема, така че да отслабва с по половин кило на седмица. За какво са всички останали еквилибристики, може да се сетим и сами - за да се прави авторът на интересен.

Последната 1/3 от обема на книгата е рецепти.
August 23, 2018
Excelente lectura

Si bien he leído acerca de IF y de el abordaje que hace Martin Berkhan al entrenamiento y la nutrición, leer el libro de primera mano ha sido realmente gratificante. Soy psicólogo, he trabajado como personal trainer y he estudiado nutricion deportiva además de haber sido obeso hasta los 17 años... y si hay algo que puedo decir es que martin cubre cada aspecto importante de lo que es perder grasa y aumentar la masa muscular con fines estéticos principalmente (saludables en otro orden de prioridad ya que no es el foco de atención que tiene el libro)

Escrito en parte como diario personal (con las vivencias que marcaron al autor) en parte como manual con pasos extremadamente claros a seguir y en parte como libro de consulta científica para quienes estén interesados en profundizar en cada uno de los temas que aborda la obra, este libro tiene de todo y en cantidades suficientes para dejar a cualquiera satisfecho con la compra. Ha decir verdad pagar 10 dólares por un libro de esta naturaleza es un absoluto regalo. Animo a cualquiera interesado en mejorar su aspecto estético, su autoestima y en conocerse mejor a que le de una oportunidad al libro, no va a quedar decepcionado.
Profile Image for Linda Garcia.
1 review
November 4, 2018
Det är tack vare Martin och hans webbsida leangains som jag började fasta och la om mitt träningsprogram och jag är sjukt nöjd över detta. Har verkligen sett fram emot den här boken!!! Tyvärr blev jag lite besviken. Den var lärorik i många hänseenden gällande kosten och det kommer jag att ta till mig. Däremot saknade jag vissa bitar. Exempelvis varför man räknar ut kaloribehov x28 eller x26. När jag med hjälp av formeln räknade ut mitt kaloribehov vid diet så blev det 1081 kcal om dagen. 😱 vart kommer siffrorna ifrån? Sen hade jag velat ha ett kapitel med information om hur mycket kalorierna ska ligga på sen vid mainteinance. Men denna info framgick endast i FAQ:n och i en artikel längre bak i boken. Sen tyckte jag att det blev otroligt mycket fokus runt Berkhan själv vilket var trevlig läsning i början av boken men lite tjatigt på slutet. Sen var det lite väl mycket upprepningar i den senare delen av boken. Tappade räkningen på hur många gånger artikeln fuckarounditits nämndes... Men Martin utrycker sig väl i ord och är en duktig författare. Boken var helt klart läsvärd!
Profile Image for Shaun Moss.
Author 2 books10 followers
October 26, 2018
The program is excellent and I've made great progress since adopting it. As a vegan I've had to adapt it slightly, and maintain about 40% of my daily calories from protein, rather than the 50-60% that Martin recommends. But I'm still getting great results. The biggest problems with the book are its rather arrogant tone, and sour grapes re other people's success in the fitness industry. But if you can overlook this the program itself is quite good.
230 reviews
October 27, 2018
Maybe I missed it somewhere, but I didn’t see any material discussion in the book on bulking, which is what you would think Leangains is about. Rather, this is a dieting book. Quick summary: eat a lot of protein. I think the author is definitely right on that, but there’s not much here you can’t get on his website or from a lot of other sources. I did enjoy reading this, but it’s better as an inspirational read than as an information source in my opinion.
6 reviews1 follower
October 9, 2018
One of the most original and insightful books on fitness/dieting that I've ever come across. Martin Berkhan is the "Nassim Taleb" of the fitness world and is an expert at cutting through BS. Some of the most interesting insights I had from the book:

-Weight training is far more important than cardio while dieting (to ensure that you maintain muscle while you lose fat)

-There is a process known as the "thermic effect of food" (TEF) in which calories are expended in order to use/store food (so that the food you eat may actually be fewer calories than you expect). Different types of foods have different TEF's:

Carbs: 5%-10%
Fat: 0%-3%
Protein: 25%-35%
Alcohol: 15%

Consuming caffeine increases your metabolism/the TEF %

-Meal frequency is unimportant. 2 meals/day vs. 6 meals/day makes no difference. It was previously argued more meals stoke the metabolism and result in a higher TEF. However, TEF is proportional to the calories/macros consumed, so two 1,200 calorie meals vs. six 400 calorie meals is the same metabolically.

-Martin recommends a high % of protein in your diet (50%-60% of total calories).

-All calories are not created equal. Calories from natural whole foods tend to produce higher TEF's than calories from processed foods and thus result in lower fat storage.

-To minimize fat storage from alcohol consumption, until you are drinking, only consume lean protein/veggies and keep fat intake low throughout the day. Limit carbs when drinking by having pure alcohol (e.g. vodka, tequila, brandy, etc.)

-Quick and easy way to determine your "maintenance" level of calories:

Men: 28 x bodyweight in kilograms
Women: 26 x bodyweight in kilograms

Make the following adjustments:

-Tall (Men > 6'1" or Women > 5' 7") -> +1
-Short (Men < 5'5" or Women < 5') -> -1

-Low Bodyfat (Men < 10%, Women < 18%) -> +.5
-Higher Bodyfat (Men 20-24%, Women 28-32%) -> -.5
-Very High Bodyfat (Men 25-29%, Women 33-37%) -> -1

-Muscle Mass (Muscular -> .5+, Very Muscular +1)

-Age: (> 45 years -> -.5, < 25 years: +.5)

-Activity Level (6k-7.5k steps per day -> +.5; for every increase of 1.25k steps per day, +.5)

-You can definitely gain muscle while losing fat, but you need to be smart about it. High protein intake is important. You'll also need to do heavy weight lifting while dieting: without external demands, the body becomes weaker for every pound lost.

-The idea of using light weights and high repetitions with little to no rest in between sets (e.g. circuit training) is glorified cardio. To achieve results, focus on real lifting and use cardio sparingly.

-Workout Principles:

1). Warm-up: 2-5 sets at 40-67% of your first set x 3-6

2). Do as many reps as possible.
3). Set a goal. If you hit it during set 1, progress to a higher weight next time (5-10 pound increase) next time

4). Rest at least 3 minutes between sets; try 4-5 for Squats/Deadlifts

5). After each set, reduce the load by 5%-10% for each exercise. 
10% - Squats, Deadlifts, Chin-Ups and Assistance Movements
5% - Everything Else

6). Workout Monday, Wednesday, Friday (or a similar split)

Sample Workout:

Day 1:

Deadlift - 2x6
Row - 3x8

Biceps - 2x10

Day 2:
Bench - 3x8

Overhead Press - 3x8

Triceps - 2x10

Day 3:
Squat - 3x10

Weighted Chin-Up or Pull-Up - 3x8

Biceps or Triceps - 2x10

-Whey protein is absorbed by the body too quickly to be your go-to choice. Casein protein is a better option

-High protein diets have only been proven to be dangerous to people with pre-existing kidney conditions. Claiming high protein is harmful for healthy people is an age-old myth

-Only supplements he recommends are a 2000 IU dose of vitamin 3 daily. Calcium may be useful as well if you suffer from a deficiency. Creatine is worth testing if you're interested but not necessary

-Proteins from veggies and grains are of a lesser quality than those found in meat, eggs, and dairy. Quality in this context means that the protein has a balanced amino acid profile and contains a good amount of essential amino acids.

-It's important to eat your largest meal after training

-The idea that you need to eat regularly to keep blood sugar under control isn't true. Blood sugar is extremely well regulated naturally. It takes 3 days or 84 hours of fasting to reach blood sugar levels low enough to affect your mental state and this is only temporary

-Normal fasting (16-24 hours) has no negative affect on your metabolism. Studies show that metabolic rate is not impacted under 72-96 hours of fasting

-The idea that the body can only absorb 30 grams of protein in one sitting isn't true. It makes no sense from an evolutionary perspective and much larger meals (e.g. those that have 100+ grams of protein) will take hours to be digested and absorbed appropriately.

-Normal fasting (16-24 hours) will not lead to muscle loss. Meals high in protein take a long time to absorb (e.g. 100 grams of protein may take 16-24 hours) so your muscles have a steady supply of amino acids. It's only after 28 hours that this may begin to be an issue

-Ignore tempo (e.g. the idea of 5 seconds up, 5 seconds down). If you're lifting heavy weights, tempo will take care of itself

Profile Image for Keith Silvas.
Author 1 book6 followers
March 31, 2019
Been waiting for this.

I have been following Martin on Leangains.com for years. His research and rage against broscience played a big part in me finally daring to drop the 6 small meals a day and become a “training minimalist”. I’m happy to own his book. Thanks for finally writing this Martin.
Profile Image for Dipesh Duwal.
6 reviews
January 13, 2023
This book removes all the complexities revolving around workouts and diet for a beginner. Tracking calories, proper workout plan, what to do and what not to do. It's research-based and will definitely put you on the right path for your fitness journey.
Profile Image for George.
170 reviews
September 17, 2020
I wanted to like this book, I really did.

But it just is not well structured or thorough enough in any of the topics it sets out to cover. What I seemed to get out of it was fasting, and starting strength but with drop sets. But that was a one sentence summary that could have replaced the whole book. His advice on excessive protein, crazy amounts of caffeine, go for it fructose, and calorie-and macro-counting comes across as rather dated at best (this book came out in 2018 - it should not be so dated in its thinking!); reflecting a sub-clinically disordered relationship with food and sport at worst. Jason Fung, for example, writes as a practitioner. Here we have an auto-didactic subject, and the difference really shows.

The author's struggles to produce the book are readily evident - the first third of the book is his life story, and the last third what appear to be a series of repurposed faqs or expositions from previous blog posts. The "meat" is very limited. But if you couldnt tell for yourself that he had struggled, he then openly tells it to the reader.

This is, after all, a deeply personal book. My heart goes out to him. It does seem that he was indeed a pioneer, an original, and with true talent head and shoulders above the field. It does also seem that he was honestly outdone by more social, political, opportunistic or cunning salesmen, put it how you will, and that he missed the boat to take full advantage of his own work on rediscovering the legitimacy of fasting.

So I'm on the author's side. I really wanted him to come through. But he's not a salesman nor an author. And thank god for that. I didn't get what I wanted from this book. But I hope, at least, perhaps its author did.
Profile Image for Wesley.
2 reviews
November 7, 2018
A real disappointment

It is more a story about the author than it is about leangains. I was curious about the book because I've visited leangains.com before and I thought this book would give more insights in the method. Instead we are given a history lesson on the authors life and leangains.com. The book is a big let down.
2 reviews
September 18, 2018
For just a few dollars you can ruin the plethora of PDF:s, youtube channels and lenghty podcasts which tries to tell how to eat and train for good looks and strenght. Thank you Martin, really. You have saved so much time for my future self.

Some poor souls may wonder why pay 9.99 for a book, especially when the author already gave away the “secrets” for free. To those people I can only say: Your loss. Not a long read but clear cut, condensed and no nonsense. Martin sets an example as an outlier for “marketing”. By selling nothing other than hard learned lessons.
In my professional world where I touch on marketing and sales, the new trend is to be authentic. Of course this isn’t a new “trend”, it is a natural reaction of people getting tired of all the fake exaggerations thrown in their face at a still accelerating pace. Leangains is a beacon of hope in the rebellion against the culture of ad-driven instant gratification.

More than a diet-guide, Berkhan tells the story of personal growth through mindful struggle. Still he manages to keep on the subject: How to set up your diet and get seriously ripped. While being able to live as a decent human being. This is actually one of the more impressive feats of Martins writing style, there is a fine line between over sharing of life stories and driving home hard lessons with personal anecdotes. This is done masterfully.

As someone who has followed Leangains since about -13 I already was familiar with the concepts. Fasting and weights have been a part of my life for the past five years and still the book was eye opening. The system comes together.
Speaking for myself the timing was perfect, it is a book about transformation, physical and spiritual. I’m reading the book as someone leaving the impatient twenties behind, and already set to live with intention. The book found its home perfectly.
I guess that what you need to fully appreciate the nuances is experience with the shit show that is diet industry, some level of determination of not settle for a mediocre life and finally trust in that you can learn from peers more experienced than you are.

Some poor souls probably will be dissapointed of the lack of obvious secret sauce. These people misses the point. The devil is in the details. And the fact that there is no secret formula can be hard to handle. That leaves you staring at the prospect of working hard and getting the wheels of your life.

Well worth the wait, gift this book to all male relatives and friends who looks like their skin is itching to get their life together. You will save them some time as well.
Profile Image for Guilherme Zeitounlian.
234 reviews5 followers
August 22, 2018
I’ve been waiting for this book since 2013 / 2014 — when I first found out about Leangains, Martin’s excellent website.

Since then, I read a lot about diet, training, and intermittent fasting, in a variety of sources.

But I kept coming back to Leangains — specially because Martin had authenticity and courage in an industry severely lacking.

And those qualities are present in the book as well.

If you are familiar with Martin’s work, you won’t find a “secret” or any kind of new shiny object here.

Instead, the principles stay the same, and Martin lays them out in an organized and uncomplicated way.

(Some people may think that this makes the book less appealing, but what did they expect?

The principles — such as eating high protein, and strength training — don’t change overnight. They worked before, and keep on working now.)

The book begins by telling his personal story, and then progresses to explain the principles and lay the foundations of Martin’s method.

The book addresses both diet and strength training, and combines them in an efficient and intelligent way. I point this out because training is something a lot of diet books seem to forget.

In the end of the book, there are some meal plans and recipes, but nothing complex or dazzling. Martin’s focus is adherence and (consequently) results.

Also, the book comes with a lot of supplementary material, such as the leangains guide 2.0 (a step by step guide to apply the book’s principles), and the Fuckarounditis article, which is pure gold (I still refer people to this article today).

If you’re just starting out, this is the book. Even if not, this is the book as well.

It is based on science, but is not nerdy. It is full of knowledge, but not fluff.

Martin could have packed the book with a lot of unnecessary stuff, but this is not his style.

In sum, it is the book I wish I had read years ago. So I strongly suggest you buy it.

(Also, follow Martin on Patreon. There are lots of good things to come.)

The book is useful, good and real. 5/5
Profile Image for Baser.
5 reviews
September 20, 2018
I am by no means an expert in this field, still I wanted to write this review since Martin requested it at the end of his book. I previously read BFFM by Tom Venuto and this is the second book I read about fitness. I can say this book taught me some valuable information like why protein high diet is better choice, what kind of training method is best, which exercises matter the most, and much more.

I will write my review based on the things I liked and I didn't like about the book and I will compare some of the stuff with BFFM.

Things I liked
- He is always willing to debunk the myths and improve the current methods.
- He combines his extensive experience with scientific data and studies, therefore creates an efficient and bullshit-free program.
- His strength training routine seems very efficient both in terms of time and number of exercises. I honestly didn't know which exercises mattered the most.
- He seems very sincere in this book as he shares his past experience and mistakes with the reader.
- In his past programs, he had used fasting as necessary requirement. Now in his current program, he accepts that it is currently not necessary in this program. Therefore, it seemed to me that he is still willing to question his methods and improve it.

Things I didn't like
- Although he always refer to articles for most of the stuff, some of the things he just accepts without any proof.
- He says don't do cardio. But he does not provide any scientific evidence to why.
- He provides a calculation for TDEE, but his method does not seem to align with my current calculations in BFFM (It is currently working fine for me). In his method, he uses activity to increase TDEE value but he only uses steps as a measure.
- For tracking he uses average of weekly weights. As far as I read in BFFM, this is not a very good metric. I would expect him to use body percentage alongside with weight.

Hope this will be valuable for future readers, past readers, and Martin.
8 reviews1 follower
September 20, 2019
As a consistent gym-goer that has gone through many different training programs and diets, I think the ideas laid out in the Leangains method is the most sustainable and scientifically backed. While I found the information in this guide useful, I'm not sure I'd recommend this work as a book for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with the solid advice or ideas in the content. All of the contents of this book can be found on the Leangains website for free and with far less fluff and unnecessary personality injected into it.

First off, the writing is pretty bad. I know - this isn't meant to be a Pulitzer-winning work of prose, but the way the book is laid out is poor. The first few chapters have nothing to do with the core content and is really uninteresting to read (I couldn't be bothered with any of it and skipped straight to Chapter 3). These anecdotal snippets crop up throughout the book in a disruptive way that lend nothing to the scientific heft of the actual ideas Martin is trying to support (anecdotal evidence is almost worthless in scientific circles)...

Which leads me to my next gripe about the book - it's tone and the way the author presents the information in a judgmental and arrogant way. There is a lot of performative masculinity (often following sentences with "...like a man"), aspirational edgelord posturing, and audience shaming in the text. Martin comes across as overconfident, in his treatment of all ideologies that are not consistent with Leangains. He's not a like-able person, and as the authority in this book, it detracts from the impact of the ideas.

Overall, I think the ideas in the book are better laid out on the website and more scientifically well-written texts on fasting and diet like The Obesity Code. The training aspect of the book is pushed as superior as well when there is little to no evidence that any particular training method is "the best". You're better experimenting with training yourself and finding what works for you.
Profile Image for Bruno Arine.
111 reviews14 followers
September 21, 2018
I had first heard about Martin Berkhan in 2013. His no-nonsense approach to nutrition and exercise was novel back then, almost out of this world. My first thought was, "a fitness guru who walks his talk, supports his claims with scientific papers, AND is aware and sincere about the studies with faulty methods? Surreal." I turned immediately into an avid reader of his blog, and after losing 10 kg in 2014 after putting his ideas into practice, I spread his gospel among friends and family. Well, there was little adherence to be honest. The new information was too recent, relatively speaking. I had spent decades hearing that "breakfast is important" that "you're damaging your metabolism", and so I gave in to peer pressure: I slowly re-introduced breakfast into my daily routine, and started fucking around with weights at the gym. Fast-forward a few years, and now I know what it means to be back to level one. In the meantime, Berkhan disappeared for a good couple of years. I hardly remembered his weblog existed, until I saw ads about his recently published book. Instantly bought it and boy, is it good ol' Berkhan.

Berkhan's writing style aged well, and his stance toward life seems to have acquired a mature, Stoic approach. I'm in my 30's myself, and instantly identified with his lamenting and letting-go of the mistakes of his 20-something self.

Regarding its content, the book is straight to the point, and short. Frankly, maybe a tad too short. I found that a number of minor technical details behind the whole thing were, sadly, delegated to either Berkhan's blog or his Patreon community. Switching back and forth between book and website is a pain, but the blog is free at least; Patreon is not.

All in all, this is an excellent book for people who want to lose fat with a science-backed method, yoyo dieters, people who want to learn new stuff about physiology, or people who seek a primer on intermittent fasting.
November 24, 2019
Having been transfixed by Martin’s elaborate intro (more of a brief life story) I was quite certain this book would be amongst the handful that have changed my life.

I was wrong.

It was enjoyable at first. Martin asked all the right questions, made all of the right statements. I lapped it all, “yes, this is me, I am the guy that works hard in the gym, eats clean but never really gets it right!!” Needless to say, I was amped up by the time that overly long - and on retrospect, unnecessary - intro came to an end. I was ready for the answers!

To be fair to Martin, he did clearly say there is no “magic bullet” but then again, none of his drawn out intro suggested as much. It gave the reader a sense that something very important was soon to be revealed. Sure, it might not be a magic bullet but it would damn well revolutionise my current shortcomings in diet and exercise.

The truth is, I didn’t expect a magic bullet, but at the very least a full proof method of staying lean that is sustainable for the non athlete. This was strongly hinted at by Martin and as the subsequent chapters followed I slowly got the sinking feeling that I’d been cheated. So you’re telling me that in order to be lean, I need to eat 300 calories less than maintenance, at least 50% protein, constantly monitor and track results and continue that dismalness until eventually I reach the realms of rippedness only to spend the rest of eternity teetering on a maintenance calorie plan??

The science behind it all was somewhat interesting but the info was far from ground breaking or even somewhat different to anything I’ve heard or read a thousand times.

This book would be very helpful to the beginner but Martin isn’t speaking to the beginner which makes it so disappointing. There’s no denying the effectiveness of the LeanGains Method but marketing this as somehow sustainable and practical feels almost as insulting as the bro science garbage Martin so passionately speaks against.
1 review1 follower
January 9, 2020
Many people are claiming that this book has nothing more to give than just a more organised and contained version of the site, plus some meals or counting strategies not unique to the approach. Guys..allow me to remind you that you are buying the book (especially for someone who was not tuned with him all these years) for 12 BLOODY DOLLARS... a drink in the club in some places (possible to be mixed with methanol too if you are lucky) costs more. Even if someone has read most of the material online (which is not as organised and concise as the book ofc) it is just fair justice to buy the damn book for the sake of gratitude for receiving the material all this time for free,period.Now, for the newjoiners, The book is as lean,organised,honest and dense as Martin himself..packed with all the necessary knowledge leaving with the optimum amount of explanations for the theory (there is the sources section if you are that desperate) which is not always bad, some people just want something that WORKS. Kind of "Shut-up and take my money" approach.Speaking for myself, i find the book written exactly for the busy no-pro athlete man of 21st century..It provides you the freedom of mind to know where to focus, what to expect, what counts, what consumes needless energy and how to approach a state of condition which has exactly to do with the level of determination you are going to show, no need to mention a completely mind-blowing daily nutritional schedule which changed my daily routine in the most ergonomic way. It is a layman's book for obtaining at minimum a realistic physique which may as well be the BEST he ever dreamed for himself. It sets the basics and the core principles brilliantly which is more important than any other of its virtues. There are people too busy with their jobs who need that the most, and they are taking it for the most value for money to deem any other comments than "thanks" needless.
December 23, 2018
In this very well researched book Martin lays out the Leangains method for losing fat. It starts a bit slow, with the author describing his journey from fat kid to modeling when adult and all the ups and downs in weight and crazy diets in between. It is good to give some context but I wish this section were shorter.

The second and main section describes the Leangains method. Its main tenet is relying on dietary induced thermogenesis (DIT) of foods, or how much energy is needed to break down, use and absorb each food type. Carbohidrates, for example, have a DIT of around 10% so if you consume 100 kcal of carbohidrates the net energy would be around 90 kcal. Fats and proteins have DITs of 3-13% and 20%-35%, respectively. Proteins provide the bast bang for the buck, and here is where in my opinion the author goes a little overboard: given the high DIT of protein he recommends a diet consisting of 60% of calories coming from protein. For a 2000 kcal diet this would give 300g of protein! Given the recent studies by Jose Antonio and others on high protein diets I wouldn't be too concern about adverse effects of ingesting high quantities of protein but I do think asking people to consume 300g of protein per day is not practical and makes it harder for people to be consistent with their diet.

Exaggerations aside I think taking DIT into account is a good tool for losing fat. Even more so when we consider how satiating protein is and the important role of protein in keeping lean mass when dieting. There are other important messages in the book as well, like the importance of having fewer and bigger meals, and weight training over cardio for losing fat and improving body composition. There are more principles to the method but I feel those are less important.

In the third section of the book there are a few loosely related arcticles about intermittent fasting and exercise.
1 review
August 23, 2018
Great Overview of Leangains

I loved the book and I'm so glad Martin released it to the world!

I will say that I think you are somewhat hard on some of the fasting competitors out there that "plagerized"

I learned a lot from leangains but it was never offered in a nice little package to get people started on a proper training plan. Covering the basics. Lift hard, hit your calories, and get protein in.

Others in the industry offered that and helped people change their lives. It's not like they offered something of no value. Your methods and teachings have helped thousands of people. Greg was helping many including me with his $49 programs long before he started his heavy marketing push on YouTube. I honestly can't think of him advising anything bro even to this day. He advocates RPT, fasting to hit calories, .82g of protein per lb. He actually helped complete noobs like I was from a - z. Setting calories, training, compliance. Martin should be proud. Martin also doesn't seem like the type that wants to have the social media presence and communicate with today's generation through social media. Martin and Greg have two different target audiences. Point being he isn't spreading BS about IF or training like many of the snake oil salesmen out there. Advocating us not to eat bananas, etc.

I don't want to distract from the fact that this book was excellent. Martin changed the fitness industry. I'm glad people now have a go to resource even if it's a little late. Great read! Glad Martin is back and offering the world his expertise.
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